Excel Apply Same Row Same Colomn To Entire Row Formula VLOOKUP – A Formula Review

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VLOOKUP – A Formula Review

VLOOKUP is one of the most useful Excel functions. This is one of the most used formulas by professionals who want to extract data from flat tables. However, VLOOKUP is also misused and sometimes overrated.

The formula was designed with a few objectives in mind: search for a value in the left column and return the corresponding value in the next column. In other words: if a table has a “Product Code” field on the left, that table can only be searched by “Product Code”.

If you want to work with lists with many and complex criteria, you should not waste your time with this…

Here are some reasons why you should use the VLOOKUP function:

  • The backend searches for a value in an index column and returns the value of the specified column
  • It is easier to write than its counterparts INDEX and MATCH
  • Returns an exact or approximate match

Here’s why you shouldn’t use the VLOOKUP function:

  • Searches only the left index column
  • Does not retrieve the position of the value found
  • Retrieves only the first instance
  • Does not search for multiple column criteria

I still use VLOOKUP and enjoy the convenience and ease of writing it. I use it when I want to compare tables based on a single column and criteria. Most of the time, I need to move the required column to the left in the backend list.

Finally, I INDEX and MATCH; This formula is not so easy to write at first, but once you get into it, you will get familiar. It’s worth the effort, especially when you realize the freedom to search any column of the table array and the potential to evaluate multiple and complex criteria. Highly recommended.

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